Georges leconte harlem hospital
Georges Leconte (center) meets with employees at NYC Health + Hospitals Harlem. (Courtesy: NYC Health + Hospitals)

NEW YORK — Decades ago in Haiti, the family of Georges Leconte liked to escape the hustle-and-bustle of the capital for the coastal commune of Miragoane. During one such sojourn, when young Georges was about 6, his mother Louise had an asthma attack.

The family accompanied Louise in a makeshift ambulance, driving several hours back to Port-au-Prince, where she could receive appropriate care. Louise would recover, but the jarring incident and his mother’s chronic condition would shape young Georges’ future. 

“[It was] a scary thing,” said Leconte, 61, of Teaneck, New Jersey, as he recalled the incident. “It always sort of inclined me to go into the health field, looking at asthma as one of the key things.” 

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Sam is a reporter for The Haitian Times and a 2020 Report for America corps member. He has covered Haiti and its diaspora since 2018. His work has also appeared in USA Today, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and Haiti Liberte. Sam can be reached at or on Twitter @sambojarski.